Oxford robotics group builds driverless car with “brain”

first_imgOxford-based research group Oxbotica are the latest firm to throw their hats into the self-driving car ring, with their offering with a “brain” that has the capacity to learn.Unlike traditional laser-and-sensor style driverless cars, the likes of which are in the testing stage around Google campus, Oxbotica’s car is built on ‘Selenium’ software, which makes decisions on the road based on its experience, rather than just on sensory data.The software, which has already been used in tech as diverse as NASA’s Mars rover and forklift trucks, will soon be used to develop “driverless pods” intended for pedestrianised areas. This innovation pits Oxbotica against the segment of the industry interested in automated taxi rides, which has so far attracted the attention of ad-hoc taxi giant Uber.Recent research from Morgan Stanley suggests that the proportion of personal transport provided by taxi services will increase to more than a quarter by 2030, making plenty of space and providing revenue for automation and innovation.Yet although the pods are soon to be seen in Greenwich and Milton Keynes, the robotics group says they are also looking for investment from traditional car manufacturers looking to automate. The likes of Ford and Tesla have already invested hugely in this technology, but Oxbotica are confident in their ability to take their slice of the market share.Paul Newman, Oxbotica co-founder said: “first to the market does not equal first for all time. We’re talking about all things that move for all time. There’s not going to be one guy that does that for all time”.“If you had a prang, you are probably a different driver because of it,” says Professor Newman.Explaining the importance of a car ‘brain’ that can learn, he says that “the ability for shared learning from those mistakes is something that machines offer that humans don’t have”.This unique form of collective learning is facilitated by Caesium, which is a cloud-based platform that connects the vehicles together.Ingmar Posner, the company’s other co-founder, said: “Oxbotica has been founded on the principle that there is an infinite number of things you can do if you have software that can help a machine work out where it is, what is going on around it and where it has to go next.”Their ‘Geni’ driverless pod is expected to hit UK streets soon, either as small-scale transport or for Ocado deliveries.last_img

Pickin’ up pawpaws

first_imgOther reasons could be problems with propagation. Pawpaws don’t transplant well from the wild. However, unlike apples and pears, pawpaws grown from seed are similar to their parents. The downside is that the seeds should not dry out, are slow to germinate and require a period of moist chilling before they will sprout. Some people may be put off by its texture because they think a fruit so soft must be over-ripe or spoiled. Others find the creamy texture appealing. The smooth pulp can be an asset as it blends easily into ice cream. I imagine it would be ideal for sherbets or sorbets as the frozen pulp is practically a sorbet all by itself. I mixed the soft pulp into pancake batter for pancakes so moist and sweet they didn’t require syrup. (And I even cut down on the sugar in the recipe.) By Arty SchronceGeorgia Department of AgriculturePickin’ up pawpaws, puttin’ ’em in your pocket,Pickin’ up pawpaws, puttin’ ’em in your pocket,Pickin’ up pawpaws, puttin’ ’em in your pocket,Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch. Since growing your own is currently the only way to get a taste, I encourage gardeners to give the pawpaw a try. A few garden centers and mail-order nurseries carry pawpaws. Some offer named varieties propagated by cuttings or grafting. Avoid bare-root plants as they do not transplant well. Buy those grown in containers instead. And don’t be afraid to plant small ones. For good pollination, plant two different varieties. Aside from their fruit, pawpaw trees can be interesting additions to a garden. The leaves, which can be a foot or more long and six inches wide, provide a tropical effect. Fall color on my trees is an attractive moderate yellow, although I have read that some varieties can be more vibrant.center_img I sang that song as a child even though I had never seen a pawpaw, and my parents or grandparents never talked of one. As far as I knew, gathering pawpaws was like hunting a snipe or lassoing Sasquatch. As an adult, I obtained two pawpaw seedlings and planted them out of curiosity and desire for the unusual. The pawpaws have been bearing for several years now, and I am pleased I gave in to my curiosity and desire. I also realized there is a lot this little folk ditty can teach us about this native but little-known fruit tree.Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) are indeed more likely to grow “down yonder” in bottomland with deep soil than on higher and drier sites. They send up suckers and form a small colony of trees, or a “patch.” It’s is the largest fruit native to temperate North America and has a soft consistency. Pawpaws drop to the ground when ripe, hence the necessity to pick them up, rather than harvest them off the tree. It is possible to pick them, but they are sweetest if not picked until fully ripe and ready to fall or have already fallen. The pocket referred to in the song is an apron pocket or a tie-on pocket – a garment that women wore before pockets were sewn into clothes. A pawpaw in the pocket of modern-style clothes would make a mess – if you could even fit one in there. The pocket reference is an indication of the age of the song and how long people have been eating pawpaws.I can understand why Nellie would slip away to gather pawpaws. They are sweet and tasty. Not only Nellie and I think so. The Father of Our Country, George Washington, proclaimed the chilled pawpaw a favorite dessert. In addition to the rich flavor, he probably liked the creamy, custard-like texture. (Remember his false teeth.) The flavor has been described as a mixture of mango, pineapple and banana. Friends and coworkers have mentioned overtones of pear, papaya and cantaloupe. If the fruit is so flavorful, why is it not more popular?The main reason is probably the fruit’s short shelf life, which is two to three days at room temperature and a little longer in the refrigerator. I tried picking some of the fruit green to see how it would ripen. The results were not satisfactory. The flavor was smoky and harsh. last_img

Israel confirms first coronavirus case in cruise ship returnee

first_imgIsrael confirmed its first case of new coronavirus Friday, in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.”One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said.A total of 15 Israelis were among the passengers quarantined on board the Diamond Princess, of whom 11 have flown home.  The others all tested negative for the virus.The returning Israelis had all been placed in quarantine for 14 days at the Sheba Hospital in the central town of Tel Hashomer.At the start of the month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “inevitable” that the COVID-19 outbreak which began in China would reach Israel.He urged health authorities to focus on developing a vaccine.In late January, the government banned all flights from China from landing in Israel.This month it also began refusing entry to foreign nationals who had visited Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Thailand over the past two weeks.Topics :last_img

The Latest: Some of FC Dallas’ traveling party back in Texas

first_imgThe Latest: Some of FC Dallas’ traveling party back in Texas The National Junior College Athletic Association says it will not have a fall season and will instead attempt to play football and other sports in the spring. Men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball will also be moved to the spring. Winter sports, such as basketball, will be slated to start in January, with a majority of championship events moved from March to April.Major college football programs frequently recruit players from the top junior colleges, but without a fall season it will be more complicated for coaches at four-year colleges to evaluate those players.___North Carolina A&T says four student-athletes have tested positive for coronavirus since returning to campus on July 6. All four student-athletes are asymptomatic. Men’s soccer players returned to campus last week and are undergoing initial screening before starting voluntary workouts.The release added that Kentucky has implemented proactive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic testing in response to evolving circumstances. Changing workouts have made social distancing and personal protective equipment more difficult to implement, the release said, forcing the change to also align with the campus plan released last month. Forty-one student athletes and 21 staffers from those three programs participated in PCR testing. One student-athlete provided documentation of self-testing.All 108 football players currently working out and 58 staff members participated in PCR testing last week with zero positives.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Some of the FC Dallas traveling party returned to Texas on Monday, a week after the team was withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament because 10 players tested positive for coronavirus. If student-athletes have university housing and have tested positive, they are being isolated in a designated area on campus.N.C. A&T student-athletes who are living on campus live in groups of 8-10 people and also are conducting workouts in groups of that size.___Kentucky says three of 42 student-athletes initially screened from men’s basketball, volleyball and women’s soccer tested positive for past coronavirus infection through antibody testing. The school did not specify in a release which programs the positives came from. Those that tested positive were required to quarantine. The league says the event to preview each teams’ prospects heading into fall training camp is delayed until further notice. The three-day event was originally scheduled to be held beginning July 21.The ACC says future decisions and announcements will take place “at the appropriate time.”___The Patriot League has joined the Ivy League in canceling fall sports, including football, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Division I conference says it has still not determined whether winter and spring sports competition will be held and that it will consider holding fall sports in the second semester. The Ivy League made a similar announcement last week. The Patriot League is the first conference in the Football Championship Subdivision that competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision’s playoffs to suspend its season. That number announced Monday includes 30 who tested positive at team facilities and 13 the league is aware of who tested positive outside the league’s protocols for its Phase 2.The NHL opened Phase 3 Monday with the start of training camps for the 24-team playoffs, scheduled to open in two hub Canadian cities — Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta — on Aug. 1. Players had until Monday evening to elect to opt out of competition without penalty.All players who tested positive self-isolated. The NHL is not sharing names of the players who test positive or the teams involved.___Los Angeles Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval is back with the team after contracting coronavirus last month. The race was scheduled for Oct. 11. Organizers say registered participants are eligible for a refund or can defer their place and entry fee to the Chicago Marathon in 2021, 2022 or 2023.“Hope drives us as runners and as humans,” Carey Pinkowski, the executive race director of the Chicago Marathon, said in a release. “My hope was to see everyone on the start line on Sunday, October 11, but our highest priority has always been the safety of our participants and our volunteers.”Organizers say they are working on plans for a virtual experience “to recognize the dedication and commitment of everyone who would have taken part in the 43rd running” of the marathon.___The NHL says 43 players tested positive for the coronavirus from June 8 through the end of the league’s optional workouts. One person has tested positive in the latest round of checks for COVID-19 on players and club staff in the English Premier League.The league says a total of 2,071 people read more


first_imgJOCKEY QUOTESSANTIAGO GONZALEZ, PRIZE EXHIBIT, WINNER: “She’s a superior horse. She runs in better races than these other horses regularly and she showed her class today.“She has a lot of speed. I can wait and wait with her and I know she can still get there with her speed.” KENT DESORMEAUX, VELVET MESQUITE, SECOND: “She’s not fond of soft ground. I think she ran her eyeballs out but she got beat a nose in a situation she doesn’t care to be in. Not to mention, she’s been off a while so I don’t think it would have mattered as much if she was racing with one under her belt.“Her future is very bright. She’s coming back from a laceration on her hind end as well and that always causes concern. You can wonder if she’ll be the same. Well, she’s the same.” JULIEN LEPAROUX, AGELESS, THIRD: “No real excuses. The course is the same for everybody. She had a little layoff, but she ran her race. It looks like she came back good and hopefully, she’ll be good for the rest of the year.”TRAINER QUOTES JAMES CASSIDY, PRIZE EXHIBIT, WINNER: “I didn’t think she’d have any problem (coming down the hill for the first time) unless she started idling trying to figure out what the heck this is all about, which she has a tendency to do.“But being that he (Santiago Gonzalez) had her surrounded, she didn’t have any time to think about that, so that was a good thing. I was a little upset we were that close, but when it opened for her, he rode her perfect, and she’s a hard horse to ride. You could see down the lane she was out there in the clear and kind of looking around, so she can be difficult, but she got it done.“Gonzalez is really a good rider. If he keeps finding his skills, he’ll be one of the best riders here, if he isn’t close to that already.”center_img ARNAUD DELACOUR, AGELESS, THIRD: “I thought everything went pretty good. She had a good trip and she was finishing, so we’re pretty happy with the race she ran.” NOTES: The winning owner is Deron Pearson of Valencia who campaigns as DP Racing. Cassidy indicated the Grade II Buena Vista Stakes at one mile on turf Feb. 20 would be next.last_img

South Africa scores Soccerex

first_imgSoccerex 2008 will take place at the Sandon Convention Centre located in the heart of the Gauteng province’s economic hub.(Image: Sandton Central) Tamara O’ReillyThe imminent hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa has opened many doors for South Africa, one of them being Soccerex, the biggest football-focused exhibition in the world.The three-day event will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, from 24 November – the second consecutive year of the Gauteng Department of Sports Recreation Arts and Culture’s three-year host deal.The inaugural South African leg of the exhibition held around the same time last year drew as many, if not more, visitors than expected. With over 4 000 delegates and 300 exhibitors from over 95 countries participating in this year’s Soccerex, it’s expected to be no different.“The magnitude of this year’s three-day Soccerex conference has astonished organisers who have recorded mountains of applications from international and local exhibitors who will fill the Sandton Convention Centre to capacity to display their wares,” says Barbara Creecy, MEC for Sports, Recreation Arts and Culture. “This year’s event will be the biggest and best yet with the entire convention centre booked out.”The Sandton Convention Centre is based in Johannesburg’s business hub. Several major events have been hosted at the centre as its convenient location offers access to over 5 000 surrounding hotel rooms as well as top shopping locations.Soccerex, launched at Old Trafford in 1997, has evolved into a four-day event that attracts an assortment of football industry players, from fans to football-related businesses. Prior to being hosted by South Africa, Dubai was the home of Soccerex for six years, and in 2006 business deals worth over $1.8-billion were signed among attendees.Provincial economic boostAs small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) play a major role in the development of the Gauteng economy, the subsidised exhibition space and networking platform for such businesses has been doubled from last years 15.“Besides offering numerous opportunities for local companies to partner and do business with their international counterparts, we estimate that the hosting of Soccerex over three years would indirectly inject more than R5-billion ($586-million) into the Gauteng economy and would contribute massively to job creations,” says Creecy.“While the economic impact assessment to quantify the return on investment for the province from Soccerex 2007 is still in progress, we can report that Soccerex 2007 exceeded our expectations with increased direct spending by visitors estimated to have boosted the provincial economy by at least R150-million ($10-million)”.HighlightsThis year, Soccerex announced the launch of its SMS competition which will allow the two winners to participate in the Soccerex All Star Charity Football match which takes place as a precursor to the main exhibition. The match will feature soccer legends – the likes of former Fifa Player of the Year, Liberian George Weah, Liverpool and England legend John Barnes and Leeds and South Africa’s own soccer hero Lucas Radebe.Proceeds arising from the competition will go toward Unicef South Africa and Diambars, a Senegalese-based non-profit organisation that combines football with educational and physical development aimed at school children.Also on the cards is the second instalment of the five-a-side tournament which sees more the 100 community-based clubs from across the province in action. This tournament develops young talent amongst players and encourages interest in the sport among youth.Social responsibilityAdding to Soccerex’s focus on social responsibility and community upliftment, partners of the exhibition have announced the establishment of a multi purpose sports facility in Soweto, which is scheduled for completion for next year Soccerex.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Tamara O’Reilly on [email protected] articles Injecting confidence in SA The power of imagination  Useful linksSandton CentralGauteng Department of Sports Recreation Arts and CultureSoccerexlast_img

SA Women out to better 2010 RWC performance

first_img12 August 2014Springbok Women’s captain Zenay Jordaan on Monday called on her team to dig deep in their two final Women’s Rugby World Cup clashes to achieve their goal of improving on their 10th place finish in the 2010 showpiece.Drawn in a very tough pool, coach Lawrence Sephaka’s charges suffered three big losses in their games, going down 3-26 to Australia, 3-55 to hosts and Six Nations champions France, and 3-35 to Wales. That has left them with a showdown against Samoa in their penultimate World Cup clash at the French Rugby Federation in Marcoussis on Wednesday.Reward for victoryShould the South African team register a victory, they will secure a place in the ninth and tenth place playoff on the final day’s play on Sunday.The Samoans, like South Africa, have struggled, doing down 3-65 to England, 7-42 to Canada, and 5-41 to Spain.Jordaan admitted that the Springbok Women’s performances in the pool stages was disappointing, but she said they had to focus on winning their last two matches rather than dwelling on their results up to now.Determined to win“We have two matches left and we owe it to ourselves, the coaches and the country to win those games,” Jordaan said in Marcoussis.“Unfortunately errors at crucial times and bad decision-making cost us in those matches, but we showed good signs on attack when we had possession and we created several point-scoring chances. This time, however, it is vital that we convert those chances into points. I have no doubt that if we had done this from the outset our results would have been much better.”The team returned to the training field on Monday to prepare for the clash against Samoa after having Sunday off to recover from the Wales match, and Jordaan was pleased with the intensity of the training session and the team’s determination to salvage some pride in the tournament.‘Commitment’“The physical matches in the pool stages and the short turn-around time between them has definitely taken its toll on the players, but it is fantastic to see their commitment to continue fighting for victories,” she said.“We may be ranked in the bottom four in the competition, but we have not given up. We will fight until the end and hopefully we could finish ninth in the competition, which would be an improvement on the 2010 World Cup.”SAinfo reporterlast_img

Alaska finally nails a victory

first_imgANGELES, Pampanga —For the last five months, Alaska had to deal with the frustration of not being able to do anything right.ADVERTISEMENT And coach Alex Compton, who is hoping to catch just one break, caught a big one Saturday night—against San Miguel Beer.The Aces snapped a 14-game losing streak dating back to the last conference by bringing down the powerhouse Beermen, 90-79, in a Petron Saturday Special Game at AUF Gym here as Alaska fanned its fading playoff hopes in the PBA Governors’ Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“After all the tough breaks, the close losses, we just couldn’t seem to get a break,” Compton told the Inquirer after getting 36 points and 15 rebounds from import LeDontae Henton in what could be considered as the biggest upset in the conference.“We got a break [tonight], they (Beermen) got an import that they probably won’t be happy with in the long run,” he said as San Miguel struggled after Terik Bridgeman, tapped to replace Wendell McKines, scored just two points and had just six rebounds in close to 24 minutes. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Arellano downs St. Benilde; UAAP partners with Sports Vision “The guys have a belief of what level [of play] we’re at,” said Compton. “It’s been five months [since our last win]. We still have a mathematical shot and we still need to win games. Read Next MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games “It’s just so nice to get rid of that goose egg and put one on the win column,” added Compton.Alaska thus improved to a 1-6 card and with five games left, Compton believes that they still have a strong chance to go deep in this tournament.And after that mammoth victory over what he described as “the best team in the league,” Compton was particularly happy seeing his players celebrate in a subdued way, a sign that his charges are hungry for more victories.“Everyone was excited, happy and relieved,” Compton said. “But it’s not a championship level of happiness, and I actually like that.”Alaska plays GlobalPort on Friday before slugging it out with KIA Picanto on Sunday, and Compton believes that they are must-win games.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img

London Olympics: Indian men archers lose 27-29 to Japan

first_imgIt was an inauspicious start for the Indian men’s archery team at the London Olympics as they shot wayward and lost 27-29 to Japan in the pre-quarter final shoot-off.Unable to draw inspiration from the historic venue that the Lord’s is, India and Japan were tied 214-214 on a sunny, pleasant Saturday morning.That the World No.5 team crashed out even without staging a fight will have to undergo a post-mortem. First things first, there is some friction in the team as coach Limba Ram, was not to be seen when the archers were taking aim.Like in other sport at home, the Indian archers have been comfortable with a foreign coach from Korea.But why Limba Ram was missing and deputy coach Ravi Shankar was sitting inside was quit baffling. Insiders say there is politics taking place in the team and manager Paresh Mukherjee will talk about all this only after the Olympics.There are hints that the archers actually do not meet eye to eye with Limba Ram.The Indians had raised hopes in recent times after doing well in the Guangzhou Asian Games and stages of the World Cup.But the pressure in an Olympics is very different where competing on the big stage does make you nervous.The Indians and the Japanese were tied at 214-214 and in the shoot-out Japan outgunned India 29-27 with the Japanese managing two 10s and a 9, while India had three 9s.At one stage, the Indian trio was almost three points ahead and still had a two-point edge going into the last set of three arrows each. Japan had an 8, 9 and a 10 in the last set, while India had two 9s and one 8, leading to a tie and shoot-out.”I feel it has happened because of the pressure. We tried to hit 10s, but it was always 9s,” said Jayanta Talukdar.Talukdar also confessed that having been afflicted with viral fever made them weak. “All three of us were in bed for two or three days, so our bodies got weak. Yesterday, during the ranking round, I could not shoot properly because of less body power.”Asian Games silver medalist Tarundeep Rai was more optimistic and emphasised that the archers had to focus on the individual event and prove their mettle.Rahul Banerjee admitted the team had its chances but failed to capitalise on it.”We were leading by three points. We all shot well but some of our 8s put us down,” said Banerjee.The women’s team begins its campaign on Sunday and the pressure will now be on them.Deepika Kumari and company did not do too well in the qualification round but given her recent form, she is capable of raising her game.advertisementlast_img